Okay, so I ranted a little, and it felt somewhat better, but now we've got to get back to the story: the unfolding of this life-changing career move.
After September 11th, we all wanted to do something...more. Something "bigger" with our lives. Even if that feeling lasted but a hot minute in the depths of our soul, I think the majority of New Yorkers took a moment, took stock, and said, What am I doing with my life?
The irony of my next statement doesn't escape me.
I wanted to become a cop.
I thought I could make a difference; I was working in the city during that time, making sure that pampered VP's and CEO's got what they wanted in a limo, upon arrival at a hotel, in a plane, on a train...travel and meeting planning was the name of the job, but the truth is that it felt trivial, and after September 11th, it was mind-numbing. It was a living. It was what it was.
So I started thinking about how I could make a difference: I could volunteer, I could spy on my neighbors...I could become a cop! AH-hah! THAT would make a difference! I could single-handedly catch the terrorists and stop a local home invasion all in one fell swoop!
Jokes aside, I approached Roc about this idea one Saturday in October. We were walking around a local park (which suddenly had a military presence) just taking a breath, and a long walk together. If I remember correctly, the conversation went a little something like this:
"I think I wanna become a cop." Huff, puff. Look quickly to the side to catch his expression. Turn, then pretend to be utterly focused on my so-called power walk.
"What?" His head snapped to the side, and I began to feel the incredulity. His eyes drilling down into my brain, an unreal feeling shifting down my spine.
"I think I wanna become a cop, you know, DO something with my life. I'm tired of having all the red furniture removed from the hotel room of the Diva of the Moment...or making sure that the VP of Vertical Challenge has a bulkhead seat on his aircraft when there are far taller people that certainly need it more."
I began to cry.
We stopped walking and Rocco tilted my chin. I met his eyes, looked away, then looked back.
"You're serious." He said this to me while giving me the full-fledged contemplative look.
"I just---I wanna do something that makes me feel like I'm doing something."
We resumed walking. No talking, at least not for a little bit.
"Like, a local cop?" He was mulling, I could tell. He wasn't talking with his hands.
"NO!" I protested, as if he had suggested hot oil on certain body parts. "NYPD." Of this I was sure.
"Really?" He shook his head. "You're so tiny. I would worry about you."
Did I tell you I married a great guy? I'm short, not tiny. But God Bless him.
"What if I took martial arts, too? I could start taking Aikido with you. Would you worry less?"
"I guess." Pause. Beat. "Do you really want to do this?"
"Yeah, I think I do."
"Well, think about it. I think it's a lot harder than you think. It would be a major change for you, and I'm not so sure you would like the actual day in and day out of it. "
Truer words have never been spoken.